Beautiful box of Buprestidae

I’ve been working on identifying Buprestidae accumulated from a variety of sources over the past year—mostly exchanges and gifts, before beginning the processing specimens collected during this past season. Once identified, and combined with specimens gleaned from material submitted by other collectors for identification (I generally only retain examples of species that are poorly represented in my collection or specimens that represent and will serve as vouchers for significant new distributional records), they make for a very pretty box of Buprestidae! It’s kind of nice to keep them collected together like this for a little while, but I’ll soon incorporate them into the main collection where they will more securely protected and to free up the temporary box now containing them for new material as it moves through the process of labeling and identification. (Incidentally, I think I might like to do a series a posts over this winter covering my version of the specimen curation process).

There are some very cool Buprestidae in this box—88 species in all, that originated from a remarkable variety of locations across the U.S., Mexico/Central America, and South America. Do you see any species of particular interest?

236 specimens representing 88 species of Buprestidae

236 specimens representing 88 species of Buprestidae

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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12 Responses to Beautiful box of Buprestidae

  1. Brady Richards says:

    Wow! Those Hiperantha are cool!

  2. kentiki says:

    That image would make a great poster!

  3. Dennis Haines says:

    Yes, those are the ones. See this site, https://beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/

  4. George Sims says:

    I would look forward to, and greatly appreciate, a detailed post on curating beetles. I’ve just spent two hours re-labelling my small collection with more “conventional” labels, and am about 25% finished. I’d guess that about 1/4 are identified (probably incorrectly) to species, and, of the remainder, about half to family, and the rest “waiting”.

  5. Jon Quist says:

    The Hiperantha are new to my eyes, the’re quite beautiful!

  6. I see some of mine in there! I also see some I wish I had! :) A very nice looking box of beetles. I’d also be interested in a post on curation!

  7. Interesting the Hiperantha were the only ones called out specifically – they certainly are nice and among the most colorful of the batch. I think my favortes are:
    Chrysobothris dudleyaphaga – paratype specimens from the describer (Rick Westcott) himself!
    Bordonia descarpentriesina – reported only by the type from Brazil, I collected this small series in northern Argentina (a new country record).
    Chalcophora mexicana – a new one for my collection, and given to me by tiger beetle guru Dave Brzoska who collected it in Sonora – a new state record and northern range extension for the species.
    Halecia trilineata (which I now see I’ve mislabeled as “tripunctata” – must fix that!) – another new one for me and collected by Dave, it also represents a new state record for Veracruz.

    Many of the smaller US species in the bottom part, though not as impressive visually as the tropical species, are quite rare and just as beautiful when seen through a microscope.

  8. Henry W. Robison says:

    A nice post on curation of your collection would be most illuminating!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family Ted!

  9. Fantastic! Beautiful! Buprestidae are so much fun.
    But as an enthusiast it’s hard to get the hands on material to ientify what I’ve found.
    Do you have a better quality picture of your box? to get a good reference of some buprestidae from Chile I want to identify.
    Haven’t been able to decipher academic black and white books I’ve found on Buprestidae.

    • Yes, it is difficult to identify buprestids (even in well studied areas such as North America and Europe) because references are inadequate and scattered amongst obscure scientific journals. One must spend years becoming familiar with the primary literature and accumulating a good reference collection before they can identify species with confidence.

      I have a good reference collection of Chilean Buprestidae and would be happy to look at your material for you if you desire.

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